For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Can you develop affection and brotherly love with those whom you have never met face to face? This seems to be the strongest argument for those who doubt the power and influence of social media. Nay-sayers wonder if you have friends “in real life” or if you ever get off the computer. They say if you use Facebook to interact with people too often, according to them, then you need to “get a life.”
In my last year of chemistry we studied organic chemistry, rather, we dabbled in it. We learned this primary fact: organic chemistry is the study of things that contain carbon, things that once had life.
What relationships are organic then? Do you have to know someone face to face and meet at regular intervals for it to be organic? Or can any connection, though any source, be a viable means to develop a relationship in which two souls are connected?
Now, Paul had never met the church in Colosse. They were a church plant from Ephesus. Yet, here Paul is expressing his deep love and concern for this church — a church that has never “seen [his] face in the flesh.” He never met them in “real life.”
That, however, does not stop him from feeling an emotional bond. It does not prevent him from feeling compelled and obligated to warn them severely regarding false teachers.
We are commanded to love one another. Social media erases geography as a limitation. This knowledge, information, and technology has opened up new opportunities for us to minister to anyone who comes along our path. We pray for one another without exclusion. We don’t have the full picture of how our prayers are intertwined, but one day we will know as we are known.
1 Corinthians 13:12
For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
Questions for Further Thought:
- What is your impression of this passage?
- Have you become friends with someone in a non-traditional form? How so?
- Have you developed a love for missionaries whom you have never met?
- How does that change your outlook?
- Verses to Look Up
- John 13:34
- 1 Thessalonians 4:9
- 1 Peter 1:22
- Luke 10:25-37